By: Contributor On: August 19, 2009 In: Money Comments: 2

Save money in college with these 22 fast and easy cash-saving tips. After all, college money management doesn’t have to be a drag!

These simple suggestions will help you save money and still have fun.

1. Buy Second-Hand

You never know what original piece you may find at second-hand stores. Plus, you can refer to your Salvation Army finds as “vintage,” making them that much cooler.

2. Organize a Swap Party

Sick of your old clothes but trying to save money in college? Organize a clothing swap with friends where you bring old clothes you don’t want to swap for something that’s new-to-you.

3. Learn to Sew

Instead of ditching that cardigan because it’s missing two buttons, learn how to sew the buttons back on. It’s easy. I promise!

4. Take Care of Your Textbooks

If you keep them in good condition, you can resell your textbooks and get some of your money back. No doodling! And go easy with the highlighter.

5. Don’t Buy With Credit

Yes, credit cards serve a purpose, but only in an emergency. If you use plastic to pay for common items you’ll have an emergency with your finances. Remember, if you can’t pay for it in cash, you can’t pay for it.

6. Organize Potlucks

To both save money in college and eat well, organize weekly potlucks with friends. Everyone brings one homemade dish to share, and then you all swap leftovers so each person has one container of each dish to get them through the week!

7. Use Your Meal Plan

If you’re already paying for a college food plan – use it! You’ll save money by not spending your cash on food elsewhere.

8. Buy Meals Off-Peak

Know a restaurant or grocer that sells sandwiches and salads at a discount after 6? Be their best customer.

9. Drink Coffee at Home

If you’re trying to save money in college, it might be time to rethink that extra-large triple-shot mocha you buy every morning.

10. In Emergencies, Eat Oatmeal

It’s more filling than ramen noodles, and just as cheap and quick to make. (Plus it’s better for you.)

11. Recycle Your Cans

Yes, it’s good for the Earth, but recycling can also be good for the wallet. Return your bottles and take advantage of the extra change!

12. Ditch the Magazine Subscriptions

Another earth-friendly tip that will help save money in college: Don’t bother paying for magazine subscriptions – it’s all online anyway.

13. Avoid Brand Names

Save money in college by avoiding expensive brand-names and buying generic brands when purchasing items like food, soap and detergent for when you do your laundry.

14. Buy in Bulk

Buying items like toilet paper and canned goods in bulk from discount stores can save you money in college over the long run.

15. Find a No-Fee Bank Account

Hunt down the bank with the best student banking offers. Many offer special student checking accounts without any monthly fee.

16. Find Cheap Ways to Call Home

Find inexpensive ways to call home, like calling cards or free online video services like Skype to save money on phone calls in college.

17. Get a Roommate

If you live in off-campus student housing, save money in college by living with roommates to help split costs of rent and electricity.

18. Save Your Change

Keep all of your loose change in a jar. You’ll be surprised to find how fast it adds up!

19. Walk Everywhere

If it’s possible, don’t pay for public transportation. Walk or bike instead. It’s a good way to save money in college and to stay fit!

20. Cut Back on Bad Habits

Drinking and smoking are bad for you – and they’re also bad for your bank account. Cut back or quit!

21. Get a Job

Find student work in college to bring in some extra cash to offset expenses.

22. Find Free Stuff

Find free events like concerts and exhibits that you enjoy. You can save money in college and still have a blast!

Follow these 22 tips and rein in your spending. With a little practice you can save money in college!

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Shante Devenuto
10 years ago

Hi – just a brief note to say thanks for this article. Very well-written.

Monica Matthews,

All great ideas! Sharing with college students and parents! 🙂